All Walmart US private label coffee is certified sustainable

Walmart announced that all coffee sourced for Walmart US private brands is certified sustainable through third-party groups Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance Certified or UTZ.

The announcement comes one-year ahead of the timeline Walmart was aiming for when the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company announced a commitment in 2017 to make 100% of Walmart’s private brand coffee in its US stores 100% certified sustainably grown by 2020.

“Sustainability is at the heart of our ongoing mission to do right by people across the Walmart supply chain and across the planet. When our customers enjoy the aroma of our private brand coffee, we also want to ensure we’re meeting their expectations on quality and sourcing based on best-in-class, certified industry standards – all while delivering on everyday low prices,” said Ryan Isabell, Walmart Stores senior buying manager, coffee & cocoa, in a blog. “Our customers can now be certain that the coffee they’re buying from us was grown with care, by farmers working to build sustainable livelihoods and thriving communities.”

He added that Walmart is working with suppliers to increase traceability within its private brands. “That includes working with one of our coffee suppliers, Westrock Coffee, to offer visibility into their supply chain, all the way back to the coffee farmers at origin. It’s all part of a larger effort to create more transparency so customers can feel good about the items they purchase at our stores,” said Isabell, noting that Walmart became the first major North American retailer to join Conservation International’s Sustainable Coffee Challenge. The Challenge is a collaborative effort of companies, governments, non-governmental organisations, research institutions and others that aims to stimulate greater demand for sustainable coffee across the globe.

Walmart continues to be a driving force of sustainable action, coffee being just one area. In September, the company signed the “10x20x30” initiative, bringing together ten of the world’s biggest food retailers and providers to each engage with 20 of their priority suppliers to aim to halve rates of food loss and waste by 2030. This private sector commitment is designed to be a significant advancement toward the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Target 12.3, which calls for a 50% reduction in food loss and waste by 2030 worldwide. Overall, Walmart has shifted to embrace the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) business model – outlining strategies and initiatives in its first inaugural ESG report (released in May).

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